Sundrop Farm, a farm where crops can be cultivated in the desert just by seawater and sunlight starts full-scale operation
Because growing crops such as vegetables requires sun and soil, and water, it has been considered difficult to cultivate in areas where the climate is severe and water does not exist like the desert so far. The most difficult of these is "securing water", but in Australia farms that cultivate tomatoes etc. by using solar power and sea water "Sundrop Farm"Has started full-scale operation.
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First farm to grow veg in a desert using only sun and seawater | New Scientist
The whole view of Sundrop Farm. On the extensive site of 20 hectares, there are areas where mirrors reflecting sunlight are laid, areas where greenhouses growing crops are arranged, and towers that stand in the center.
The mechanism by which Sundrop Farm makes crops only by the sun and seawater is as follows. We use the sunlight reflected by the mirror to generate electricity and drive the desalination device to produce the fresh water necessary for the growth of the crop. At the same time, in addition to warming the greenhouse with the heat generated, sea water is also used for cooling systems and greenhouses. The crops to be cultivated can correspond to various kinds of vegetables such as tomatoes, berries and fruits.
A power tower that collects sunlight and generates 39 MW of electricity. On the ground, there is a pool that keeps the sea water sent from pipes from the front, from the mirror area, the greenhouse area, and the sea 2 km away from the sea.
A myriad of greenhouses spread on the premises
Among them, state-of-the-art cultivation equipment is placed, and tomatoes are raised.
Coconut shells were crushed in the equipment, and soil like traditional agriculture was not used. Also, because beautiful water is used, it is also a big point that you can cultivate without insecticide.
Just as the fruit of tomato is made around the height of the person's back, the harvest seems to be easy.
In fact, cultivation of tomatoes has been started in earnest in this farm, and harvested tomatoes are sold at supermarkets.
In the past there was a thermal power plant in this area, supporting local employment. However, when the power plant is closed and people lose their jobs, this Sundrop Farm will be created and play a major role in protecting the employment of people as well.
A huge amount of tomatoes going to be shipped. It seems to have production capacity of 17,000 tons a year.
Although it is Sundrop Farm which began full-scale operation, there is no choice but to buy electric power from a power plant in order to cope with solar energy reduction in winter. Nonetheless, the company's CEO Philipp Saumweber says it will be possible to cultivate it without relying on fossil fuel electricity by continuing to improve the technology in the future.
Sundrop Farm is currently in full operation in Port Augusta in southern Australia and is also planning to build it in Odemira along the coast of Tennessee State and South Portugal. Furthermore, it seems that it is possible to cultivate various agricultural crops including tomato, even in areas that have been regarded as not suitable for agriculture, such as the Middle East region.
The state of Sundrop Farm can also be confirmed in the following movie.
Sundrop - The Produce on Vimeo